Set against a backdrop of wooden churches, brooding forests and snow-capped peaks, Slovakia is a land where folktales come to life. Boasting ancient castle ruins, cool street art and an array of cafés and bars, Slovakia offers an opportunity to discover a relatively tourist-free place before it changes forever. Still searching for its ‘famous for…’ line, Slovakia captivates its travellers with its mix of old and new, Bratislava’s quirky character and the tremendous peaks of the Tatra Mountains.
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slovak wilderness struggle
Posted on Wed, 12 May 2010 by Sue Elliot
Founded in 1949, Tatra National Park (TANAP) is the oldest national park in Slovakia and the former Czechoslovakia. It was created to protect the large coniferous forests, alpine meadows, glaciers [...]Read more
At a glance
|Capital city:||Bratislava (population 460,000)|
|Time zone:||(GMT+01:00) Belgrade, Bratislava, Budapest, Ljubljana, Prague|
|Electricity:||Type C (European 2-pin) Type E (French 2-pin, female earth)|
Best time to visit Slovakia
Slovakia enjoys four very distinct seasons. Summers are blissfully warm with July and August the most popular times to visit. To skip the crowds, travel in spring and autumn. Be sure to bring warmer clothes, as nights can get quite cold, especially in the mountains. Slovakia turns into a white wonderland over winter and temperatures drop below freezing. Excessive snow cuts off the Tatra Mountains from November to March.
Geography and environment
Top 5 Folksy Places in Slovakia
1. The Tatra Mountains
With soaring peaks, thick forests and simple villages, the Tatra Mountains are straight out of a storybook. Stretch the legs with a hilly hike or take a funicular to one of the heady peaks.
2. Hidden Treasures
Bratislava is filled with hidden treasures. Search out the curious Peeping Tom statues poking out from doorways and manholes. And be sure to look up when walking past older buildings, you might see a cannonball, courtesy of Napoleon, still embedded in the walls.
3. Bratislava Castle
Perched high above the city on a rocky outcrop is the grand Bratislava Castle. Walk around the grounds for sweeping views all the way to Hungary.
4. Devin Castle
The rocky ruins of this 13th-century castle conjure up images of dragons, witches and epic quests. Take a boat along the Danube for your own adventure and gaze up at the ruins on a river cruise.
5. Danube River
One of Europe’s mightiest rivers winds its way past forest, cliffs and castles. Take a walk along its banks or even hire a bike to cycle its banks.
FAQs on Slovakia
Beer in bar or restaurant = 1.50 Euro
Cup of coffee = 1.50 Euro
Three-course meal = 9 Euro
Short taxi ride = 4 Euro
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 6 Epiphany
Mar 29 Good Friday
Apr 1 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
May 8 Victory Day
Jul 5 Saints Cyril and Methodius Day
Sep 1 Constitution Day
Sep 15 Day of Our Lady of Sorrows
Nov 1 All Saints’ Day
Nov 17 Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day
Dec 24 Christmas Eve
Dec 25 Christmas Day
Dec 26 Boxing Day
Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Slovakia/public-holidays
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Slovakia Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Slovakia
1. Be considerate of Slovakia’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.
3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
6. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
7. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
|Slovak Tales for Young and Old||Pavol Dobsinsky|
|A History of Slovakia: The Struggle for Survival||Stanislav J. Kirschbaum|